Tuesday, June 25, 2013

eBook Review: Focus

Freshman year of college is hard even when you're not tied to the future king of a supernatural society.

Allie dives into college head first with Hailey as her roommate and the city of New Orleans as her backyard. As things within The Society heat up, Allie realizes that whether she’s with Levi or not, she's in far too deep to turn back.

Obviously there'll be spoilers for Book 1, Flight, here.

When last we left dear Allie she had pretty much mucked up her life by note reading the fine print when she accepted a ring from Levi.  Really if these books taught me anything its that I should never trust a guy who offers me jewelry.  After getting kidnapped, saved and chastised for being angry slash frightened by the fact Levi forgot to mention a few things, Allie is now ready to begin life at college with Hailey and co.

Just don't ask her about Levi, Jess, her dad, her mom or Levi.

I got really impatient with Allie for much of the first third of the book.  She spent so much time denying she cared about Levi that all I could hear was 'the lady doth protest too much'.  Just once I want to read about a heroine (or that rare creature the hero) who finds out she's in trouble, sucks it up and is proactive about doing something to mitigate the trouble as much as possible.  Allie eventually comes around to this way of thinking, but not before railing about how horrible it is that Levi has put her in this awful farce of a situation.

Truthfully Levi screwed up big time.  I wasn't pleased with his decision to basically marry her without telling her when they slept together, but I was really not pleased that Allie seemed to not understand the position she (unwittingly) found herself in.  Yeah, it sucks, but whinging about it won't change it so try and buck up and figure out a productive way to get through it before everyone you care about dies.

Meanwhile both her parents earn Bad Parents of the Year award for various reasons (though her dad edges her mom out) and oh damn that twist at the end sort of makes sense of a lot of things now.  I thought Ivy was taking that character in one (truly unfortunate) direction, but instead they go 'mwahahahaha' and up the ante.  I liked it.

I kind of wish Ivy didn't give the secondary characters like Hailey and Jared romantic subplots.  I liked that Jared and Allie grew closer (through mutual understanding about failing to meet parental expectations), that Hailey fully supported Allie, but didn't let her rush blindly into really bad ideas.  I was less keen about Jared's interest in one of Allie's new friends or that Hailey is in a sort of West Side Story ala The Society romance.  Neither was built up enough to affect the plot really (except as a contrived excused at one point) and just hung on the outskirts of action.

I'll give Ivy credit, there's two big game changers in the novel and only one of them is really obvious.   I'm not sure if I would have been happier if she had subverted the obvious one or if I was fine with it because it made the secondary one that much more surprising.  I was happy to see more of the Society and learn a bit about the politics.  Ivy's 'need to know' style is a little irritating, but its easy enough to overlook for the better moments.